Island Tug & Barge putting finishing touches on tug

Unlike U.S. operators, Canadian tug companies can have their boats built anywhere in the world. For British Columbia companies, that often means China. 


Island Tug & Barge, Vancouver, B.C., has had several barges built at Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China, and now the company is completing an 85’×25’ tug hull built at Jinling.

Featuring a round bilge, the hull design was originally created by Eric Dixon for Seaspan, another Vancouver-area tug company. Island Tug had the hull built to this design but went to Robert Allan Ltd., Vancouver, for the superstructure design, which is taller than the original Seaspan house. It’s also built from aluminum.

The new tug, the Island Scout, is being completed at Island Tug’s maintenance facility in Burnaby, B.C. 

Andy Farmer, the maintenance manager, said this results in the use of better materials.

“The problem with building a tug next to the maintenance division is that us at maintenance always know what we’re changing,” said Farmer. “So we’re always pushing to have stuff done right the first time. Usually when owners build vessels away from their maintenance division, you don’t get the requests for materials that will not give us troubles in the future. They just build according to cost.” 

Farmer said they are using lots of stainless steel, bronze and galvanized materials.

Power for the new tug, which will be used primarily to tow oil barges, is being provided by a pair of Cummins KTA38 M0 main engines with dual 800/500-hp ratings. The engines are linked by Centalink flexible couplings to Twin Disc MG-5222 gears with 6.10:1 reduction ratios. While compensating for any misalignment between the soft-mounted engines and the hard-mounted gears, these couplings also reduce gear noise. Just behind the gears, dual-caliper Kobelt shaft brakes are mounted on the 7” shafts. These compensate for the weight of the boat’s long shafts and heavy 78”×60” propellers in nozzles with double rudders. The redundant Jastram steering system allows the rudders to be operated independently or in synchronized mode. 

A pair of 99kw gensets with hydraulic power take-offs round out the engine room. The towing and hawser winches will be driven hydraulically as will the 150-hp bowthruster.
Marc McAllister of McAllister Marine Survey & Design Ltd. has been helping supervise the final construction of the Island Scout, which is expected to be in service by the end of the year.

— Bruce Buls  


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